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It is not what the Bible says. It says in the Bible that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is not limited to some timeframe. We see tens of thousands of miracles here on this program, hundreds of thousands of answers to prayer. George Gallop told me some years ago that he had recorded, according to his surveys, at least seven million people in America had experienced healing through prayer. Of course God continues to do things. If you read Isaiah, 'by his stripes we are healed,' but He says He has borne on Himself our sicknesses and our diseases .It is specific to sicknesses and diseases [when the Bible says] 'by his stripes we were healed.' We are freed from our sin by the blood of Jesus on the Cross, by His death and Resurrection. But the wounds on His back and the stripes that were there are for the sicknesses and diseases. Look at Isaiah 52 and 53. See what you think.
You bet you can get a Word of Knowledge. These gifts are for everyone who believes. The unique thing about the gifts of the Holy Spirit is they are given freely, and they are given at the point in time of baptism. So don’t go around saying, “I don’t have this gift.” You have it. What you need to do is start practicing how to use it. So go into the meeting, and when you’re in a group, a prayer meeting, or church meeting, ask God some questions. He’s waiting for you. “You have not, because you ask not.” So ask Him, not for the gift, because He’ll say, “Well, I’ve already given that to you.” Ask Him, “Who do you want to heal today?” Or “What sickness do you want to heal today?” Or “Do you have a Word for me for this person?” One of my favorite Bible verses is, “Many are your thoughts, O Lord, towards us.” I can’t even number them. Ask God, “What’s one of your thoughts for this person I’m praying for? What do you think about them? What do you want me to do to encourage them?” And realize it’s encouragement, comfort, and exhortation. It’s not judgment. Judgment isn’t part of that gift. Anyway, there is a whole lot to that.
That is a tremendous question. I remember Kathryn Kuhlman said, "One day I am going to ask God, 'Why do some people get healed, and some don't?"
Kathryn couldn't fully answer that question; nor could I without having the same wisdom, anointing, and discernment that Jesus had. To the best of my knowledge, He never turned down anybody for healing. Everyone who came to Him seeking help went away healed. He sometimes tested their faith, as He did with a Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22 who said, "'Even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their master's table.'Then Jesus answered and said to her, '0 woman, your faith is great; be it done for you as you wish.' And her daughter was healed at once."
Jesus told his disciples to "keep on asking," "keep on seeking," "keep on knocking." Those who did would receive, find, and have the door opened. He taught almost desperate perseverance in prayer. Much of our praying is halfhearted and desultory, not desperate.
We are to keep on banging on the gates of heaven until we have an assurance in our hearts of one of two things: either God says no, or God says yes. If He says no, then we must receive His will and get on with our lives. If He says yes, we should begin praising Him for the answer which we know is on the way.
God honors persistent prayer, and it is not wrong to bring the same issue to Him repeatedly until you know His will. Once you know what God wants, then pray accordingly. Sometimes in the process He will show us things that need to be fixed in our own lives before the answer comes.
We need to realize that we just can't shake a little tree and
expect blessings to shower us. God is not a genie in a lantern
that needs only to be rubbed three times and poof! We get what
we want. We must be willing to surrender ourselves deeply in prayer
to the things of God. He will withhold no good thing from them
that walk uprightly.
Well, it is through the exercise of use that you discern the good from the bad. That's out of Hebrews, where it is the more you use your spiritual gifts, the more you have discernment whether it is from the Lord or from your own spirit or flesh. Occasionally you might even have the ability for evil spirits to speak to you.
Anything to do with healing, you are getting into another area where you can hear the word of the Lord and can bring that word forth, but for whatever reason, the seed you plant with that word into somebody's life for a variety of factors does not come to pass.
This has happened to me. I had a specific word for a dear friend who was suffering from cancer, and the word I thought I heard after a long period of prayer was you are going to live and the cancer is going to die. Well, that didn't come to pass, and my friend, whom I loved very much, died. It was a very tragic situation.
It set me into asking, 'Lord, give me more. What was wrong with how I delivered it? How do you activate these words? How do you go against these kinds of sicknesses?
What I got back in response is that sometimes the symptoms will outweigh what the word says. And people get into a belief pattern where they start to believe the symptoms more than they believe the word. I believe that healing is for everybody. Jesus paid the price and by His stripes we were healed. But sometimes the enemy comes in like a flood, and regardless of the amount of the word you get, you believe the symptoms more than you believe the word. And in that situation, even Jesus had problems getting people healed. In the gospel, there is an amazing verse where Jesus says He could do no mighty miracles in their midst because of their unbelief.
I am not trying to be judgmental about your friend about whether or not he believed or didn't believe the word. You get into areas here that we really have difficulty understanding this side of heaven. That's a very long-winded answer for a very complicated issue.
If you are trying to hear the voice of God, the more you ask
for it and the more you believe that God is speaking to you and
you use that gift, the more you get discernment as to whether
it really is the voice of God or it is your own flesh. It is the
exercise of use. Don't let this situation that happened to you
discourage you. Keep coming back and keep going for it. You need
to work this one out through the exercise of use.
I remember Kathryn Kulhman saying that every time she thought she had God figured out, He changed the way He did things. He is infinite and all-powerful. Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil and all who were sick. Everyone who came to Him for healing got healed. I don't know of anybody He turned down, so it is God's plan and will to heal people -- physically as well as spiritually.
How do you get it? You have to empty yourself and ask Him. Sometimes it is spontaneous. I believe it was in Toronto that a fellow was walking along the street. There were TV sets in a window of an appliance store and he stood outside. There was a word of knowledge that came during a telethon. He received it and was healed. He didn't know the Lord, but all of a sudden -- bingo! -- God describes him and God heals him.
Don't ask me why the Lord does what He does when He does it. Normally speaking, when we pray and we seek His face and we ask Him, He will do something. He says, 'When you stand praying, if you have ought against any, forgive that your Heavenly Father might forgive you' [Mark 11:25]. It is very important that we do forgive others, because it depends on entering into the supernatural with the Lord.
Also, Pat, I will hear people say, 'I was praying, "God, please let them say something for me."' You don't have to have a word of knowledge specifically about your condition to be healed, do you?
Of course you don't, but some people like to do that. I think it was Harold Bredesen, our good friend and brother for many years, who was praying in a church. These people were coming in a prayer line and he was laying hands on people and the Lord was showing him what was going on. This one woman came up for prayer and he laid hands on her. He said, 'I don't think there is anything wrong with you.' She said, 'I don't think so, either. I just came for a check up.'
It isn't like a magic trick where you ask, 'Could you give a word of knowledge for me?' The biggest thing is that the word is in the Bible. It is in Isaiah 53 and all throughout the New Testament and in all of the Gospels about the healing power of God.
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God, and it’s by reason of use. You’ll begin to know. Something will come up inside of you. No, I don’t think you would expect a miracle in every patient you have. The Apostle Paul said, he saw that he had faith to be healed, and he said, “Rise and walk.” You will sense in somebody what’s there. But the whole attitude, before you begin to treat patients, ask God to use you and ask God to lead you, and then the prompting of the Holy Spirit will be real. But it’s like for me, on the air, to try to tell you what love is like. I just can’t fully do it. You have to learn how to walk with somebody, and you walk with the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will prompt you. You’ll hear a voice in your ear, saying, “This is the way; walk ye in it.” You’ll have a sense within you that, yes, those miracles are going to come forth through your hands. And the more you do it, the more you’ll realize that God has led you into that, and it’ll get easier. And the facilitation will be much more by reason of use.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.